A Blogger's Checklist
6 Components every blog post needs.
1. It's written for people.
Yes, SEO and key-wording are incredibly important, but if no one wants to read it then what's the use of Google finding it? Avoid tactics like keyword stuffing. Not only are search engines recognizing some of these "black hat" tactics and punishing sites, they generally detract from the enjoyment or readability of the article.
2. Use headers and sub-headers.
Breaking a post down into bite-sized pieces make it easier for most readers to digest. When applying headers and sub-headers be sure you are identifying them in your html with <h1> or <h2> tags and don't just make the font bigger and bolded. Search engines place an emphasis on Heading 1, 2, 3 etc. tagged text over regular paragraph text. Incorporating a keyword into these headings is also a great strategy (but don't forget about step 1).
3. Use tags for your blog.
Tags are basically topical keywords that are linked to your post. At the bottom of this post you will see our tags. Tags are an excellent way to organize your posts. By clicking on one of our tags you will sort to all of our posts that have been tagged with that particular topic. Be sure to keep your tags as relevant to the post as possible.
4. Add your meta data.
Some CMSs will allow this, others will not. If you have the option to add your meta keywords and a meta description, do it! Both go mostly unseen, but it is another way in which search engines gather information about your post.
5. Have a picture.
A picture that supports your article can add a lot of value. Even if it's just a stock image, it breaks up monotony of the text. If you have a video blog, make sure you have some supporting text. Having more than one type of media in each post creates a more dynamic interaction.
6. Always have a call-to-action.
A call-to-action is simply a next step. Once a reader is done reading your article, is there something for them to do? At the very least ask them to 'like' or 'tweet' your article and even comment. In a business blog setting, you should have a next step that can offer more information leading to salable item or service. For example, below, if you'd like to learn more about blogging and social media for business, visit our Social Media and Online Marketing Training Program page.
Thanks for reading! You can follow me on Twitter for more information and some fun stuff as well.
Don't forget to follow Mark (@MarkAtKayak) and Randy (@Kayak360) on Twitter and connect with Randy in Google+.
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